Definition: The Universal Card Tools- IDentifier for The Lord of the Rings
The Universal Card Tools- IDentifier (UCT-ID) allows the precise identification of all cards belonging to game systems supported by openCards.
We put a special emphasis on the goal to gather (and make available to the collectors) all data on every single card ever published in a given game system, to designate them via our UCT-ID and thus distinguish them in an indisputable way.
We differentiate between the following characteristics of a card which can lead to the impression of a mere player that two cards are identical while an avid collector would insist on distinguishing them from one another.
- Reprint as part of a later product or as promo card
- Reprint in another print style (e.g. as foil card)
- Reprint with new text (e.g. for a special event like a World Championship)
- Reprint with new image
- Reprint after an erratum (corrected game text)
- Reprint with new border color (e.g. white border)
- Reprint with changed copyright
- Reprint in another language (lots of for LotR)
Often it is a combination of these characteristics that apply at a reprinted card. The definition we use on openCards is:
A card B is a reprint of an already existing (older) card A if both cards have the same game text (or card B an erratum of the game text of card A), and card B can be distinguished from card A with the help of at least one of the aforementioned characteristics.
In order to achieve this from the point-of-view of collectors, at openCards for one thing every card is distinctly designated with the help of the UCT-ID, and for another thing the section "cards" elaborates on any characteristics of any given card with the Collector-Info (see Tab "Collector-Info").
If reprints exist, they will be listed in the Collector's Info under the heading "reprint". The first or oldest of these cards will be designated as (for lack of a better name) "first print" (even if it is strictly speaking already a reprint).
Schematics of the UCT-ID
The UCT-ID is assigned after a certain pattern. We orientated the assignment of the UCT-ID as close as possible to the manufacturer's "Collector's Info" (in most cases to be found at the right side of the bottom edge of a card.) We changed or expanded this, whenever it no longer was sufficient for a clear distinction between "similar" cards. Therefore we added a short abbreviation for the game system to be able to differentiate all cards on openCards regardless of different game systems. The UCT-ID always starts with this game system abbreviation.
For Lord of the Rings this means:
- "game system prefix" - for the Lord of the Rings 'LotR'
- "expansion index" - ongoing numbering of expansions. For LotR we started with The Fellowship of the Ring (1) and went up to Ages End (19). As expansions we counted all cards sold in boosters (incl. Reflection). With two exceptions: Middle-earth Delux Draft Box (MDDE) and The Wraith Collection (TWC) are special set not sold in boosters but also with the same ongoing numbering for expansions.
All other cards belong to so-called special sets and are designated by the expansion index "0" (zero).
- "rarity abbreviation" - C for common etc. See also our discussion of the Lord of the Rings Rarities at Tab "Rareties".
- "ongoing index of cards within an expansion" - e.g. 11 for the eleventh card of an expansion. Cards are sorted alphabetically after card type [affiliation] and card title.
- ["addition to an expansion"] - optional, not relecant for Lord of the Rings
- ["language abbreviation"] - optional, in the case of Lord of the Rings there a several reprints in different languages for most of the expansions. But at this time we only have the english versions of the Lord of the Rings cards availible on openCards. In the future there will be language depending abbreviations for the Lord of the Rings Universal Card Tools Identifier.
The schematic pattern of the UCT-ID is the same for every game system supported by openCards!